Avianca has confirmed that it is no longer interested in buying Mexican regional operator Aeromar, as the Colombian carrier focuses on executing a strategic plan to restore profitability within its core business in its home country and Central America.
German Efromovich, Avianca's previous controlling shareholder, had embarked in an ambitious international expansion strategy under which airlines operated under the Avianca brand in Ecuador, Peru, Brazil and Argentina.
However, Avianca Brasil and Avianca Argentina both filed for bankruptcy and went into liquidation while Avianca Peru pulled out of most domestic markets.
Mexico was the latest territory Avianca intended to conquer by acquiring a majority stake in ATR turboprop operator Aeromar.
However, Avianca's new chief executive Anko van der Werff, formerly Aeromexico's commercial chief, makes clear that expanding into Mexico through an Avianca-controlled local carrier is no longer an option.
"I never considered [acquiring Aeromar] a good idea [for Avianca] nor is this going to happen with the current leadership team," says van der Werff.
"We already have a codeshare agreement with Aeromexico, which is much larger and offers more frequencies. Investing in Aeromar would not give us any benefits," he argues.